7 Ways to Make Your Postcard Stand Out

Helpful Tips to Generate Response from Your Next Postcard Mailer

An effectively designed, well-thought out direct mail postcard can net response beyond expectations. Create a postcard that’s going to stand out – rather than get tossed out – with these suggestions. (Note: incorporating some of these tips will depend on your goals and budget).

  1. Consider Going Big
    There are a few reasons to consider an oversize postcard format:

    • A larger size naturally attracts more attention.
    • Oversize postcards have been shown to perform better in terms of response rate, according to recent Data & Marketing Association reports.
    • They are less likely to get lost in the shuffle.
    • Extra space means more room for impactful design and messaging.

    However, you’ll want to consult USPS mailing guidelines for postcards. Postcards that exceed 4.25-inches by 6-inches in size are classified as a letter mailing, and will cost more to mail.

  2. Design to Draw the Eye
    To have any chance of competing for attention in the mailbox, postcards need eye-catching design that also works to support a campaign’s messaging and goals.

    • Avoid an overly busy design. Rather, design around a focal point using visual design hierarchy principles.
    • If your postcard needs to feature several products (e.g., weekly sale items), use a grid layout to achieve an organized rather than chaotic appearance.
  3. Choose the Right Paper
    Paper weight and texture can communicate volumes about the value of your mailing – something to think about investing a little extra in, depending on goals and audience:

    • A thicker weight feels sturdier and more dependable and will stand up to the mailing process.
    • A too-thin paper risks coming across as flimsy and getting damaged in the mailing process.
    • Textured paper adds a tactile element, another way to draw attention.

    (Again, USPS guidelines are a factor: a thickness greater than 0.016-inch will cost more to mail.)

  4. Try Unusual Formats and Print Techniques
    As with paper choices, these attention-grabbing features can increase project costs, so ROI will come into play when making these decisions.

    • Try a die-cut format for an unusual, eye-catching shape. Tie the shape into your company’s product or service offerings for added resonance.
    • Perforated tear-off coupons can add sizzle to your offer.
    • Including a simple giveaway (e.g., a magnet) will add noticeability and value.
    • Printing techniques like foil-stamping and embossing can instantly draw the eye. They may be best used for higher-end mailings – think invitations to a new location’s open house, introducing a premium product or service, and other similar promotions.
  5. Make Copy Work Hard
    The space constraints of a postcard mean you need to choose words wisely. Write to focus attention on the action message – what you want recipients to do.

    • Craft an attention-commanding headline that builds curiosity.
    • Include very minimal supporting information – just enough to tempt recipients to follow through on the call to action, or take advantage of your offer.
    • Use copywriting “power words” – words that spark interest and action. Check out a list here.
    • Be clear, don’t confuse your readers, and be action-oriented: Tell recipients how to take the next step.
  6. Make It Personal
    Relevant mail is far more likely to be saved and acted on. With the depth and breadth of data available today, the sky’s the limit regarding personalization. Here are a few pointers:

    • Personalize with an offer on products you know a recipient likes based on purchasing history, or include an image of a product recently viewed online.
    • Include region-specific maps for your businesses closest retail location of office site.
    • Use personal URLs (PURLs), a form of personalization that incorporates a prospect’s name into the landing page web address, to instantly capture attention.

    Investing in marketing automation software greatly boosts efficiency and accuracy in executing a personalized campaign. Also, make sure to choose a printer with variable data print capabilities.

  7. Partner with a Direct Mail Expert That Can Tie It all Together.
    Developing an effective direct mail postcard campaign becomes much simpler when you work with a vendor that provides professional design, printing and mailing services. With expert guidance on the creative points discussed above, plus someone else to handle the print and mailing details, you get more time to focus on big-picture goals and strategy.Plymouth Meeting, PA-based Strata Company specializes in data-driven direct marketing and technologies that help companies create more relevant, personalized marketing. A leader in direct mail marketing for nearly two decades, Strata has experience helping businesses create highly targeted multichannel marketing campaigns. Contact us to learn more.
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